Nine new homes won’t solve the city’s housing needs, but it’s a start.

At the Planning Commission meeting on Thursday night, commissioners recommended approval of nine dwellings to be built in a subdivision called Harvest Village by Healthy Buildings Companies of Napa. The single-family homes are proposed for a 1.35-acre property at 804 Capitola Drive in southeast Napa.

The residences would be built as “pocket neighborhood” — a cluster of homes around a center green space. Parking would be on the periphery on a U-shaped private road.

Currently, the property contains one single-family home and a shed that would be demolished.

The development will also be designed as a net zero- energy project featuring solar hot water and electricity and other green features.

Harvest Village homes will range from three to four bedrooms and 1,800 to 2,200 square feet, on lots ranging from 4,600 square feet to 8,400 square feet. Prices will be mid-to-high $700,000, said Bob Massaro, founder and CEO of the Healthy Buildings Companies.

Commission endorsement is “an exciting step for a new type of housing project,” said Massaro. “It’s forward progress for the city.”

“We were all excited by this sort of new design model for infill housing,” with a communal core emphasis, said Planning Commissioner Paul Kelley. “Maybe this is going to be the type of model for the future.”

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According to Kelley and Massaro, a handful of residents spoke at the Planning Commission meeting, primarily raising concerns about the impact of more houses on the neighborhood , the proposed density, storm water runoff and the granny, or second, units attached to two of the nine homes.

“When you come in with something new, you can get concerns,” Kelley said. But he considers the project “an interesting way of treating multiple houses on a parcel in a way that promotes community.”

Ultimately, the commission voted to recommend approval by the City Council, which will take it up in about a month, said Kelley.

The homes are likely to be available at the end of 2016, said Massaro.

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Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.

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